If you lined up ten successful authors and asked them to organize a beginning writer’s course, most likely you would end up with ten different agendas. And all of the outlines would probably be relevant to a successful writing foundation.

When I taught various writing courses my agenda would be peppered with known and tried techniques along with general English course objectives I had learned from college. When I included my successful writing experiences my packed agenda was usually a measured success with my class. Regardless, my curriculum always began with philosophies.

I believe that before an aspiring author dives into tangible writing techniques they should understand some philosophical basics which may prove essential to beginning a successful endeavor. There are probably many, but I believe the following three are critical.

First and foremost drive the notion of ‘successful writing is a dream’ from your mind. When you begin a long road trip is your route-plan a dream thing or a set of goals and achievements you are about to execute to get where you’re going. Apply the same thought process here. Successful writing is a set of aspirations, goals and achievements—not a ‘dream.’ When I was doing book-signings many people would inevitably say to me that I was living out my dream. I would politely reply, ‘I’ve never worked so damn hard…it’s hardly a dream.’

You are a unique writer and whatever methods you apply to your work to complete a successful outcome are correct. For example, some instructors suggest you not to use flashbacks in a novel you might be creating. Yes, flashbacks can be complicated and throw your reader off if not employed with the utmost care, but they can work fine just as they do in a movie. Of course, a movie flashback is easy to “show;” yet isn’t successful writing showing also—instead of telling? Point: you should use the techniques that are successfully unique to you and your story once you progress into a smooth progressive flow.

Motivation. You must be totally motivated in every phase you’re engaged in throughout your quest of successful writing. Don’t you require the motivation to learn as you digest this blog? When you eventually begin to actually write won’t you require solid motivation for that? Point: if you don’t hone your motivating forces, finding success will be much more difficult.

There are probably many more philosophies needed for successful writing, but, again, I believe these are essential. Perhaps you have others you’d like to share.


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